The Man Who Could Have Been Pope: ‘The Church is 200 Years Out of Date’

Socially liberal Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini could have been Pope (he was passed over for Joseph Ratzinger). He died a couple of days ago and his final interview was a well-deserved condemnation of Catholic Church practices:

“Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up; our rituals and our cassocks are pompous”…

“The church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the pope and the bishops,” he said in the interview. “The pedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation.”

Cardinal Martini, famous for comments that the use of condoms could be acceptable in some cases, told interviewers the church should open up to new kinds of families or risk losing its flock.

“A woman is abandoned by her husband and finds a new companion to look after her and her children.” he said. “A second love succeeds. If this family is discriminated against, not just the mother will be cut off, but also her children.”

“The church is 200 years out of date,” he said. “Why don’t we rouse ourselves? Are we afraid?”

For what it’s worth, he said many of these things during the course of his life, too. But the Church didn’t seem to take his views very seriously. Too bad they just lost one of their better voices.

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